After our first attempt, thwarted by the unrelenting snowfall, we made it to Les Mis in the cosy atmosphere of the art deco-esque Ritz. I'd loved the stage production in the West End, and had wept at 'Empty Chairs' and 'Bring Him Home'.
A few years after, at Drama school, we had to present a 'big song'. I was rehearsing 'Bring Him Home.' I could barely get two lines out before the emotion overtook and I was in tears. If I made it to four lines, the rest of the class were in tears. So, I went to see the film with an open heart, and high expectations, tissues packed as warned by those who had gone before me.
As we're leaving the cinema Hubs says, "How was that for you?"
"Well..." I answered.
"That good, eh?"
Well...it was very fortunate that there were no actual French people in France at the time of the Revolution, because that would have made casting so much harder. As to why Jean Valjean was Irish as a criminal in his first scene, yet English/Oz after nineteen winters of hard labour, I simply have no idea. Though the timing of the lovely Northern Irish accent calling out over the barricades, "We need your furniture, now!" was either subtley political or overtly humorous. Personally, I laughed.
And why did all the Revolutionaries have their hair done like One Direction? With that and his higher-than-expected voice, Eddie Redmayne has turned into a choir boy, and as such can no longer be lust material. And sorry, girls, but Hugh Jackman warbles! 'Bring him HOWOWOWOWOWOME! He's afrAYAYAYAYAYAid!'
The only pleasure was the astounding cinematography, Hathaway's heart-wrenching rendition of 'I dreamed a dream', and the satisfying crack of Javert's body as it breaks over the weir.
It was always a plot too thin, for me; that a man could steal a loaf of bread, spend 19 years jailed for it, and be hounded for breaking parole by an officious policeman who can't give up the chase, even with a Revolution in the Country's Capital to subdue. Maybe that's all you can expect if you condense one of the longest novels written into two and a half hours.
"So how is your cold heart sitting in your boots, dear?" asks Hubs.